When I was a precocious child, which is to say annoying as I am now, but in a cuter and more excusable way, our family went on a trip to Sweden. I was reading road signs as a way to pass the time. In retrospect, this helped set me up for a brilliant career in scientific research, but I’m getting sidetracked… What puzzled me was that throughout Sweden there were road signs pointing in the direction of a town called “Center” . I assumed “Downtown” was either a very influential city in Sweden like Washington, DC or Hollywood, California, or we were driving in circles, a hypothesis that was also not unlikely given the designated driver/navigator team (my parents). I dismissed the idea of ​​Sweden having a 4D hypercube topology as too weird. You don’t need to mail me the answer, I found out later, okay?

But one thing still puzzles me. Sometimes I hear these 30 second commercials on the radio where an upbeat guy/cheerful girl explains that “everyone likes to eat out at Olive Garden” or “everyone wants to go shopping at Macy’s” or “everything the world deserves a vacation in Table Rock, Wyoming” (population 82), which I’m sure they do.

However, for the love of Table Rock, Wyoming, I can’t figure out who this “everyone” character is. I have never heard that “everyone deserves to retire before 40”, “everyone wants to open a ROTH IRA in Scottrade“, or “everyone needs to save 50% of their income”. Maybe these things are hard to say in a cheerful voice? Hmm… “Hey, everyone needs to save 50% of their income in order to retire before 40, yeah!” I have been practicing! It MIGHT be quite difficult, but I’m sure I’ll get it done.

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Originally posted on December 10, 2007 at 15:54:00.

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